Post Enumeration Survey (PES)
Since the 1966 Census, each Census has been followed by a Post Enumeration Survey (PES), conducted by specially trained interviewers. Each state and territory is included, and a sample of approximately 32,000 private dwellings (and a small number of non-private dwellings) is enumerated in the survey. In 2006, remote areas, including discrete Indigenous communities, will be included in the scope of the survey for the first time.
The main purpose of the PES is to measure the extent of undercount and overcount in the Census. This is achieved by asking respondents in PES if they were included on a Census form for the household being interviewed, and if there were any other addresses where they may have been included in the Census. At each of these addresses (including the interview address), the personal information is matched to any corresponding Census forms for these addresses to determine whether a person was counted, was counted more than once, or was not counted at all.
Results obtained in the PES are used to adjust Census counts in the calculation of Estimated Resident Population (ERP) figures for Australia. The results also provide an assessment of the coverage of the Census by field operations including the extent to which dwellings are missed by Census collectors.
See also Estimated Resident Population (ERP), Undercounting and/or underenumeration.